Havana Cuba Business Travel Culture and Politics

Havana Cuba News

Cuba Politics News

Posted February 24, 2005 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

Email this article | Print this article | Search Havana Journal        

By VANESSA ARRINGTON | Associated Press Writer

Cuba’s tourism ministry told its workers to keep their mingling with foreigners to a minimum, prohibiting everything from accepting personal gifts to attending events in the homes or embassies of foreigners without written permission.
The new regulations, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, were signed by Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero in January and went into effect last week. They apply to Cubans working in tourism on the island as well as overseas.

The action is the latest in a series of attempts by the government to further tighten state control on the island, which embraced tourism in the 1990s as a necessary evil after the fall of the Soviet Union thrust Cuba into an economic crisis.

Marrero took over as head of the tourism ministry last February after officials acknowledged serious problems in an agency that handles much of the business stemming from foreign visitors.

He has launched a restructuring of the country’s vital tourism sector, which last year brought in more than 2 million visitors, primarily from Canada and Europe.

The new rules say “current conditions” make it necessary to update norms to “regulate relations with foreigners ... using the ethical, moral and professional principles that characterize our society.” Under them, tourism workers must limit their contact with foreigners to what is “absolutely necessary” for their work.

While in the company of foreigners, workers are also urged to remain faithful to Cuba’s socialist system and abstain from opinions that go against the “prestige” of the country or workplace.

The ministry also calls on its workers to practice austerity, protect all classified information and be on the alert for possible plots against the government.

All workers should “maintain permanent watchfulness over acts or attitudes harmful to the interests of the State,” and communicate all actions that could threaten the principles of the Cuban revolution.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on February 24, 2005 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Sort of redefines Cuban hospitality.

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on February 24, 2005 by I-taoist with 213 total posts

    And so we see…George Orwell was prophetic in his vision of the lengths to which government will go in its efforts to perpetuate itself, and stiffle all dissent.  Seen optimistically, this is yet another example of the rotten innards of the Cuban state and its corrupt core, a core of “jefes” so dellusioned by their own self-promoting propaganda that they have lost touch with their own humanity. It is a core of paranoid and desparate technocrats who vainly try and make sense of a non-sensical system, a system of their own making. 

    The reality, versus the illusion, of their utopian idealism will soon enough be upon them. “When people are continually poked and prodded by the heavy hand of government, sedition grows in the hearts of good men.”  Lao Tzu

  3. Follow up post #3 added on February 24, 2005 by bernie with 199 total posts

    I-TAOIST: Please tell me of a country. that does not
      practice and promote, the prophetic vision of
      George Orwell.
    I sure would like to live there.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on February 25, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts

    Whereas I would agree that the recent rules for tourism workers are heavy handed (fuelled by the fortress mentality in Cuba which George W. Bush does all he can to provoke and perpetuate), I think you are showing your own extremist views by referring to the “rotten innards of the Cuban State and its corrupt core”. In regards to the “rotten innards”, well they have survived ten presidents, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and all the other challenges encountered since 1959. I would say that this longevity is due to pretty healthy innards. Regarding the “corrupt core” reference, Transparency International, an international organization that monitors corruption around the world, actually placed Cuba in a good position compared to other countries in Latin America. Finally, the reality vs. illusion of utopian idealism is an interesting theme. Although not a paradise and with many problems, a significant number of them that are their own making, Cuba is the only country in Latin America that can proudly say it does not have street children. But of course, I guess prohibiting tourist workers from fraternizing with tourists is a greater evil in your mind.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on February 26, 2005 by PABLOPUEBLO with 86 total posts

    It seems to me the cuban goverment insists on to go to the
    trenches Again and Again we will see the weak results,if there
    is some good reason to do so,that escapes from my imagination.
    I would like posting a new topics,but i don’t understand the
    format of this Forum,so I am just,make a comment about it.
    Yesterday the cuban cardenal Jaime Ortega Alamino was restrained to go through the Miami International Airport and
    come in in american soil,for 4 hours he was questioned for
    immigration authorities,who even menace him to deport to
    the Island(mY Beloved Cuba),he flatty denied to answer any
    aditional question,because his documents were in good order,
    and he has Diplomatic Passport issued by The Vatican State.
    That is disgusting,man!!! American immigration authorities
    should remind them about not to forget they have failed to
    stop genuine terrorists to come and to set up terrorist net
    in american soil,for example the participants in 9/11 were
    living and training in America for Kill many of americans,so
    as I said early is very nasty to see immigration demenour like
    that one against a Man of Faith,with legal credential and so on

  6. Follow up post #6 added on February 27, 2005 by Dana Garrett with 252 total posts

    Before people start looking at this regulation as an arbitrary act of repression, one must consider some important factors that could explain the regulation.

    When Bush bowed to the political pressure of the exile extremists and sharply curtailed travel to Cuba, he also cut off one way for USA intelligence agents to enter Cuba.  Given the multiple millions of dollars Bush has allocated to Cuban exile groups to support “dissidents” and recruit “reporters” in Cuba (remember, these millions only account for the *disclosed* allocations to be used to subvert the Cuban government), it is reasonable to believe that Bush will at least maintain the same level of intelligence agents infiltrating Cuba as existed before the new travel restrictions took effect.  One avenue of infiltration would obviously be foreign (i.e., non-American) travelers to the nation. 

    Only those acquainted with the various published Congressional reports and unclassified documents detailing the USAís clandestine operations in Cuba since 1959 will find my hypothesis far-fetched.  Those documents, many easily discovered on the internet, catalogue USA and exile extremist terrorist attacks against the island as well as numerous assassination plots, destruction of vital infrastructure and industries, spy recruitment, campaigns of disinformation, murder and so on. 

    In fact, the evidence for these kinds of covert activities are so overwhelming, it is fair to say that the burden of proof falls on those who would argue that this restriction Cuba has placed on its citizens working in the tourism industry doesnít arise from a legitimate security concern. 

  7. Follow up post #7 added on March 01, 2005 by PABLOPUEBLO with 86 total posts

    I would like to say this: It is a fact that Cuba goverment,
    I mean post 1959,has never allowed street children,they created
    an open access to education and that,for me,is not a petty issue,but I can condone the repression or if you like the—
    restriction of political ground for people,cuban people I’m
    saying,who has a different political perspective from the official one and many of them are not puppet from the americans,like the the people in power in Cuba want to portray.
    I know many “dissidents” who are not pro american and who hail
    openly the well known achievments of Castro stwardship in Education,Sports,Science,Health and the fret over the children
    and the elderly people,those are human rights,but why not open
    arms to those cubans,insted to stamp out any good iniative?.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on March 03, 2005 by RJSROCKET with 8 total posts

    Hola, all. I am going down to the Santa Maria del Mar area next week (March 8-16) and am wondering how this tragic news will affect travel and safety. Is there any chance of social upheavel? Protests?
    This is a major change and I am apprehensive as to whether this will change my enjoyable vacations in Cuba.

  9. Follow up post #9 added on March 03, 2005 by RJSROCKET with 8 total posts

    Hola, all. I am going down to the Santa Maria del Mar region next week and was wondering if this tragic news is likely to affect travel, safety and such. Will there be protests, I wonder?

  10. Follow up post #10 added on March 03, 2005 by GregoryHavana with 196 total posts


  11. Follow up post #11 added on March 04, 2005 by RJSROCKET with 8 total posts

    Thanks for the response, Gregory. I will tour Havana when I get there early next week. Would be nice to hook up with a Canadian…
    Guess I don’t have anything to worry about but will still abide by the restrictions to be safe if it seems to be enforced generally. Other forums claim travellers have not had these things enforced but…
    Sorry about the double post, usually the newest posts go on the bottom so I didn’t know mine were getting through…

  12. Follow up post #12 added on March 04, 2005 by RJSROCKET with 8 total posts

    GregoryHavana; Is there a way we can communicate? I hate putting my email on the net…

Would you like to add more information?

Only members can add more information. Please register or log in

  • Advertise at Havana Journal Inc
We recommend this AirBnB Food and Drink Experience... Cuban flavors: Food, Rum and Cigars
Images of Cuba
The Grand Opera House in Havana Cuba
Follow Havana Journal
SUBSCRIBE to our Cuba Watch newsletter
LIKE us on Facebook

FOLLOW us on Twitter

CONNECT with us on Linked In

Section Archive
Havana Journal, Inc. BBB Business Review

Member of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy